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Thursday, October 06, 2011


More useless narratives.

Who cares who the "pressure" is on?

I bet the Cardinals feel the exact same way you do, Drew. "Big deal if we lose today, we had a great season!!!"

No way. Both teams will feel a great deal of pressure, as 166 games of work are on the line here, and both teams badly want to advance.

One of the most underachieving teams ever...

Phils definitely have the pressure of expectations. I refuse to believe tomorrow will be the last game of the season. I also refuse to consider that it might be Rollins last game in the bloodstripes.

I agree with JRoll. I think it's true with any professional who has experience, be it in sports or other professions. The butterflies are there in the build-up, but once you start performing and doing your job your experience, training and talent kick in and allow you to perform as you should.

That being said, no question there's greater expectations on the Phils than the Cards. However, for the most part I don't think those expectations affect in-game performance. But at this point the Cards want it as much as the Phils so I don't think that means anything during the game.

Ya know, one would almost get the impression that when it comes to a 5-game series in the post-season, you can throw form out the window, that anything can happen, that a guy who was crappy during the season can be a hero and a guy who was great can be a bum. That, because of the extreme small sample size, you just never know.

Of course, that will never be acknowledged on BL and if the Phils lose, there will be an orgy of blame finding, character questioning and moronic analyzing.

But that's why we come here.

what clout said

Phils win - they're champs

Phils lose - they're bums

clout - I don't think we need to wait to see if the Phils lose for the blame finding and character questioning. The mere fact that there will be a game 5 has triggered it already.

repost: For some humor this morning, @magelb tweeted a link to this cartoon:


you're not a philly fan if you are positive. i am negative and pessimistic and proud of it. that's how i was raised to watch sports.

I didn't realize there was only one way to be a Phillies fan! I'm not telling anyone how to do it.

I feel a great sense of off-season wode-spread manic depression coming on. We get beat by the team we helped get in.

I just can't understand this team anymore. Up 2-0 before there's an out in the first and then they completely go south. Why is Pence rinning in the first? Why is Utley trying to go to 3rd on a play that Pence maybe beats out anyway?

I can see Doc losing a 1-run game because the offense just doesn't step up. I could also see the Phils winning. I just doubt it at the moment.

For the second post season in a row, the Phils offense is nonexistent. I can look up and down the Card's lineup and see guys who can get timely hits. The Phils do not have that. The bottom of the line-up has been a black hole the entire series and the middle has disappeared since the 2nd inning of game 2. I don't care if the dig up Cy Young and have him pitch tomorrow. If the Phils don't get some timely hitting tomorrow, this season is over.

And I'm going to preempt the BL elite right now. I don't want to hear that Carpenter is making a start after short rest and therefore the Phils are a lock. 1) Carp only threw about 60 pitches in that game and 2) you are probably the same people who said the Phils were going to walk over Jackson.

Rant done. Thanks for listening.

On the flip side, tomorrow's game is what Halladay has played for during his entire career. The team's collective back is up against the wall and I imagine Halladay is pissed and the doctor is going to show up tomorrow and surgically dismantle the NL's leading line-up.

The doctor will make Carpenter, coming off a situation where he pitched on short rest, look amateur. The doctor will face a Carpenter with an ERA of 12.00 (2011) and 7.20 (2009) in his last two post-season starts. While the doctor's tools will be sharp with his 2.70 ERA in the post-season.

This is what will happen. This is how it will go down. This is how we will win.

All the analysis goes out the window at this point. Anything can happen. Just a couple weeks ago the Mets rallied from 4 down to beat the Cards with 6 in the 9th. They did it against Motte, Rzepczyinski and Salas, the same RPs now giving the Phils fits.

Just a reminder -- there's a lot of $$$ to be made betting on the Cardinals tomorrow. The bettors seem unaware that the season is over.

"For the second post season in a row, the Phils offense is nonexistent."

We've outscored the Cardinals. Or did Game 1 not count since we won?

Only the most underachieving team until the Eagles season ends...

Listen, I get that the pain will be real and intense if they lose, but it doesn't make this team bums, underachievers, or wastes of our time.

Someone said in the last thread that expectations have led to us not acknowledging this, but I'll say it: I love this team.

Win or lose, I love Jimmy, Chase, Ryan, Shane, Cole, Maddog, Hunter, Cliff, the Roys, Tony Bastard, Brad, Chooch, Charlie, Raul, Polly, and RFD. In fact, that's why I want them to win so badly on Friday - not to validate my fanhood or preseason predictions, but because I genuinely like these guys and want them to do sellouts.

So, as anxious as I am, as deeply hurt as I'll be if they lose, I choose to mostly be excited for Friday, which should be the perfect showcase for why we watch this team.

repost: I think Oswalt and Lee, knowing that the Phillies are near or at a revenue limit intentionally let the Cardinals win in order to get the extra home game. Gonna need a new 3b in the next 6-8 months.

"I can look up and down the Card's lineup and see guys who can get timely hits. The Phils do not have that."

How many timely hits did they get when they got 17 men on base and scored only 2 runs? I definitely see a Cardinals team which hits better, and takes much better plate approaches, than we do. But I'd leave it at that.

BAP: Agreed.

Should say "well", not "sellouts"... that's why you don't post from your phone while driving.

"If the Phillies lose Game 5, they go down in history as arguably the most underachieving team in the history of this city"


And if the Yankees lose tonight, and the Brewers lose their series, then those teams will also "go down in history as arguably the most underachieving team[s] in the history of [their] cities."

I (choose to) believe Chase Utley will have a big game and will rally the team. The baserunning blunder was gutsy and would have worked had he caught Pujols off-guard just a little. He looks hungry and determined and he's been hitting well.

It's going to be torture until game time. Think I'll take a very long nap.

MG -

"If they lose on Friday at home, yes it will be fair to label them as 'chokers' considering that teams up 2-1 in the NLDS since this current format began were 19-4 coming into this postseason. "

Man, the natives are getting restless, and downright mean-spirited.

The Brewers were up 2-0. Will it be fair to label them as "chokers" if they lose their series? The Yanks were up 2-1. Will it be fair to label them as "chokers" if they lose their series?

If the Phillies had lost the first two games, and then won the next two only to lose in the fifth game, would that difference mean that it wouldn't be fair to label them as "chokers?"

How about if they had split the first two games, lost the Hamels game and lost last night. Would that situation mean that the Cards would be "chokers" if they lost the series?

Man. This is going to be a long two days.

Sorry - Detroit was up 2-1.

The "who has more pressure on them" theme is one of those discussion points that fans turn to when every other series-related topic has been beaten to death, and there's a day-and-a-half to kill before the next game. But the idea that one team has more pressure is just dumb -- and, even if it were true, it wouldn't mean anything. Sometimes players/teams respond well to pressure; sometimes they don't. Until we see the game, we have no idea which will happen here.

Besides, what exactly are the players supposed to say when asked a stupid question about which team has more pressure? The player can basically choose between two canned answers: the one Rollins gave or the one Howard & Oswalt gave. Would it be better if Howard had said, "The pressure's on us. We had a great year but, if we lose this series, it will be a failure. That's probably why we've been pressing at the plate so much?"

OP - I actually hadn't read your comment before posting mine.

Have a good nap. Maybe if a few other posters had one too, they wouldn't be so cranky.

"The Brewers were up 2-0. Will it be fair to label them as "chokers" if they lose their series? The Yanks were up 2-1. Will it be fair to label them as "chokers" if they lose their series?"

Yes. Especially the Brewers.

When you fail to do something that 80-85% of other teams succeeded in doing in a previous situation, that makes you a failure. Numbers are the numbers.

Pressure is most assuredly on the Phillies. How can it not be?

Can we at least wait until the Phillies lose this series before labeling them "chokers" and "losers"?

I don't care if they get taken to game 5/7 of every series, as long as they win.

Even if they bow out tomorrow night, I'll have fond memories of this team--they did win more games than any Phils squad in history, after all.

I mean, its not like the weaknesses in the Phils that we've seen this series are brand new--we've seen them all season. But in a long season you can, and they have, overcome or compensate for them. In a five game series, sometimes even a couple great pitchers can have off nights, and you lose. As simple, and unfortunate, as that. It doesn't make them bums or chokers.

"When you fail to do something that 80-85% of other teams succeeded in doing in a previous situation, that makes you a failure. Numbers are the numbers. "

This is a perfect example of simply not understanding numbers. You take a completely subjective notion like "choking," and supposedly use numbers to back that up.

For example, someone posted that home teams have lost more game 5's than away teams?

What do those numbers tell you about the Phillies "choking" if they lose tomorrow night?

Your argument is that if the Phillies had lost the Hamels game and won the game last night, they wouldn't be "chokers" in losing the 5th game, but if the exact sequence of wins and loses had taken a different order, a game 5 loss wouldn't be proof of "choking?"

And the numbers prove it?

You dont lose a game because of 'small sample sizes', you lose a game because your players are outperformed by the other team in that particular game at hand.

Its squarely the players fault if they lose - not because they just happened to be on the wrong side of the flipped coin. Edwin Jackson shutdown the Phils lineup better than Oswalt did to the Cards, period.

Its not some pre-determined odds-based destiny that Oswalt would have a bad start and this small smaple size doomed him in a short series, he physically and mentally did not perform. End of story, he sucked, and should be blamed for the loss.

Should be evaluated as a pitcher based on that one game? No, but he still came up short in an important game - every bit of blame thrown his way is correctly placed.

Utley has had a good overall series, but that base running gaffe was "gutsy" in the same way that Custer was gutsy for launching an attack in which his men were outnumbered by about 10 to 1.

The benefit of being on 3rd, as opposed to 2nd, was slight. And the downside of having a runner on 1st, instead of 2nd, was enormous because it set up a possible DP & left us needing an extra base hit, instead of a single, to score what was then the tying run. It was NOT "the right idea" to try to get to 3rd. It was a very dumb idea by a player whose decision-making is usually unassailable.

lorecore - I agree completely.

But I would add that being outperformed in a particular game does not make a team "chokers."

What's funniest about that notion is that this very same team had the best regular season record, and this team with much of the same composition has won consistently in the post-season in the past, including one WFC.

But losing tomorrow would mean that they are "chokers."

The numbers prove it.

i'm going out on a limb and saying that the result of a decisive game 5 is a CRAPSHOOT. anyone ever hear this term before?

that said, if we lose this year, with this pitching and this lineup of "stars", we can never ever EVER go into another postseason expecting to win a championship. this was supposed to be the closest thing to a sure thing that you can get in baseball.

A loss means there's a very good chance this group of players, with all its incredible success over the past 5 years, will only have one title to show for it. I realllllly want that second parade, mainly b/c I think this team deserves to be stamped as a historically significant in baseball history. If they can't accomplish it it's a damn shame.

Phlipper: Yes, everything u said sarcasticly is actually correct.

Odds are based off of the Phillies losing two games in a row, not just Game 5. If it was the other way around, the Cards would be the one 'choking'.

And, dont worry no one is choking, Doc is taking down the Cards tomorrow, all will be well.

Expecting to win a championship is dumb, even for a dominant regular-season team. It's dumb because it makes the playoffs less enjoyable (compare the tone on here to, say, 2007) and it's dumb because it's an absurdly high expectation under this playoff system.

BAP: Not saying it was the right call, but you're discounting the value of being on third with one out in a game in which your bats are cool at best? He was aggressive, Pujols played it perfectly.... that's it.

I like seeing aggressive play and often it causes the opposing team to make mistakes. Utley's play wasn't aggressive, it was bizarre. It's not impossible that Albert could have thrown the ball away, just very unlikely and at that point in the game not worth the risk.

"but that base running gaffe was 'gutsy' in the same way that Custer was gutsy for launching an attack in which his men were outnumbered by about 10 to 1."

Classic bap!

Yes it is a 'small sample size' but when you fail to accomplish something that only puts you in the 10th-20th percentile on that task it means you failed.

Is it fair or truly objective? No but there are a ton of things in life where you simply get a single chance or a very limited opportunity to make it or not.

lorecore: Excellent post.

Many posters seem to think these series are played on a computer, where you plug in everyone's 2011 statistics and the computer spits out a random outcome. And a few -- most notably clout -- actually seem to think that you run the program without even plugging in the 2011 statistics.

Last I checked, the series were being played by real people who have full awareness of the games' importance, whose performance can be affected by that awareness, and who deserve blame if they perform badly. It's certainly true that anything can happen in a short series. But that doesn't absolve Lee, Oswalt, and every regular except Utley & Rollins for the way they've played up to this point.

OP: Pujols throwing the ball away wasn't the only potentially positive outcome. He could also not have realized what Utley was doing for another half-second, or stayed on the bag out of reflex. A half-second later and that ball is coming in just as Utley gets there, making a clean catch and tag much less likely...

More thoughts:
- I'm proud of the Philles season. 102 wins is nothing to scoff at. Even if they lose tomorrow. I've watched too many horrible teams put on the Phillies uniform over the years to get angry at this team that won the division 5 years running.
- Winning the WFC takes some magic for teams that are not the Yankees. The best we, or anyone really, can hope for is to make the play-offs and hope we get that magic. We saw it in '08. We have seen a little bit of it this series in Francisco. Lets hope it stays with us.

OP: Agreed. It was completely bizarre. What on earth made him think he could go from 1st to 3rd on a routine infield groundball?

I am a huge fan of aggressive play & rarely get mad when a Phillie gets thrown out trying to steal, or trying to score from 2nd on a single. But that was just a flat-out ridiculous decision, with limited upside. And here's the other thing no one has mentioned: if I recall correctly, Furcal made a bad throw which pulled Pujols off the bag. If he had made a good throw, it might have been a DP, which would have been worse still. Likewise, if Utley had stayed on 1st, Pence might have been safe & we'd have 1st & 2nd with no outs.

TPOT, very true, but just as unlikely. In that way, defensively Albert is like Utley-he seems to see everything that's going on all the time.

Yo, new thing.

bap: i get what the other posters are saying - if you played a 5 game series 100 times, the Phils would most likely win ~80% of the time.

But where I disagree is that they think if the ~20% outcome happens, its just an uncontrollable nature of how events unfold and there's no way anyone involved could change that. That is BS. That ~20% chance exist because it is possible for the Phillies player to suck and if they do, its their own damn fault, not the sheer existance of that ~20%.

Perils of Thinking,

I liked the post; it sums up a lot of what I feel.

"If the Phillies lose Game 5, they go down in history as arguably the most underachieving team in the history of this city."

They won't even go down as the most underachieving team in the year 2011 on Broad Street.

They had a great season. What happens tomorrow happens tomorrow.

You didn't bring Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence here to just get into the playoffs. They could have likely done that without either one of them.

Its been about October for this team all year (fair or unfair that is). And if they get to October this year and don't even win the first series, it will be colossal failure. That's not being pessimistic or overly negative. That is just being truthful.

And if it does go badly tomorrow night, then it will just continue the playoff regression from 2009 (WS loss), 2010 (NLCS loss) and 2011 (NLDS loss).

Tomorrow is a huge night for this franchise now and for the franchise going forward. A loss tomorrow and I think Rube has to seriously think about a major retool of the team next year (because of the consecutive years of regression in October). That retool may end up happening regardless of what happens in October, because of who is up for free agency and the age of some of the players. But it will be almost mandatory if the Phils bow out in 5 games to the Cards. And it could be a sign that this "run" could be nearing its end. Certainly with some of the core players who have been here a while now.

The heat is on the Phils tomorrow and its on the Brewers tomorrow. The pressure is on them. They've been the 2 best teams in the NL in 2011 and both had leads in their series. As bad as a Phil loss would be, it would be just as bad for Milwaukee. To lose a 2-0 lead and possibly then lose Fielder in the off-season, would be devastating for that franchise as well.

I think Halladay throws up 0's and the offense does just enough to get by on Friday, possibly piling on late in the game to make the game more comfortable then it actually was. I think Milwaukee clubs Arizona and the 2 best teams end up meeting for the pennent (as most hoped).

Whatever happens, I think Friday October 7th will be a day that we can look back on as a defining day in this franchise's history. Yes, I think its that important.

The theme of today’s lecture is don’t believe in arrests of alleged terrorists without proof as non-Muslims are liars … I don’t believe them because they are kuffaar and lying is part of their religion. (Kuffaar is an Arabic word meaning non-believer or an infidel. Its contemporary usage in the UK is highly derogatory).

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